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COVID-19 Information & Resources

Important Resources

COVID-19 Update for Unions

March 16

In the last couple of days we’ve seen a major escalation in the actions state and local governments are taking to slow down the spread of the virus. Many states closing schools, shutting down bars and restaurants and banning gatherings of crowds/multiple numbers of people. San Francisco announced a three week lock down of people in six counties prohibiting individuals from leaving their homes except for essential activities. Today the White House announced guidelines to limit interactions and exposures to other people, limiting gatherings to not more than 10 people, recommending that older individuals and those with underlying health problems remain at home and other measures. The guidelines are for the next 15 days but may be renewed.

In addition, there was a shift in the government’s position/statements today about how the virus is spread. At today’s White House briefing, Dr. Deborah Birx stated affirmatively that there was transmission of the virus before individuals exhibited symptoms, raising great concern that the virus is spreading before people feel sick. Unions are reporting that are problems with PPE being available to healthcare workers, and states report that they are having difficulty getting timely access to respirator supplies from the national stockpile and manufacturers.

NABTU President Sean McGarvey Statement on Protecting Construction Workers’ Health, Safety and Jobs in Partnership with Responsible Owners and Contractors

Washington, March 18, 2020

Click here to read statement

CPWR Guidance on COVID-19

March 17, 2020

Click here to read

CDC/Government Actions, Advisories and Guidance

Coronavirus Guidelines for America

The White House  Issued on: March 16, 2020

This afternoon, President Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force issued new guidelines to help protect Americans during the global Coronavirus outbreak.

Download Coronavirus Guidelines for America https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/03.16.20_coronavirus-guidance_8.5x11_315PM.pdf

Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing

March 16, 2020

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-vice-president-pence-members-coronavirus-task-force-press-briefing-3/

Dr. Deborah Birx: “The reason we’re taking these strong and bold steps is because we know there is virus spread before you develop symptoms, and then we know that there’s a large group — we don’t know the precise percent yet — that actually is asymptomatic or has such mild cases that they continue to spread the virus.  If your children are sick, please keep them home.”

CDC -   Get Your Mass Gatherings or Large Community Events Ready: Interim Guidance for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) March 15

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/large-events/mass-gatherings-ready-for-covid-19.html

Guidelines recommending no public events of 50 or more people for the next 8 weeks. For the next few weeks these guidelines have been superseded by the guidelines issued by the White House today, which recommend limiting any gatherings to no more than 10 people.

Latest News

San Francisco – Lockdown

In ‘defining moment,’ San Francisco to order residents to stay home over coronavirus

Mayor announces drastic measures to curb spread of COVID-19 alongside five other Bay Area counties https://www.sfexaminer.com/news/in-defining-moment-san-francisco-to-order-residents-to-stay-home-over-coronavirus/

San Francisco Examiner Mar. 16, 2020 11:35 a.m

Transmission – Infected people without symptoms might be driving the spread of coronavirus more than we realized

CNN  Updated March 16

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/14/health/coronavirus-asymptomatic-spread/index.html

Coronavirus Is Hiding in Plain Sight

For every known case of coronavirus, another five to 10 cases are out there undetected, a new study suggests.

NY Times March 16, 2020

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/16/health/coronavirus-statistics-undetected.html?action=click&module=Spotlight&pgtype=Homepage

COMMENTARY: COVID-19 transmission messages should hinge on science

Lisa Brosseau, ScD

Mar 16, 2020 CIDRAP News & Perspective

http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/03/commentary-covid-19-transmission-messages-should-hinge-science

Good article about the science on transmission of COVID-19 and the need to protect healthcare workers.

Wired March 14: They Say Coronavirus Isn't Airborne—but It's Definitely Borne By Air 

https://www.wired.com/story/they-say-coronavirus-isnt-airborne-but-its-definitely-borne-by-air/
The word “airborne” means different things to different scientists, and that confusion needs to be addressed.

Excellent article in layperson's language on the issue/confusion on airborne transmission. It includes a discussion of the recent studies and calls out the CDC for rolling back HCW infection control guidelines. Definitely worth sharing.

Workplace Exposures - ACEP Press Statement: Two Emergency Physicians in Critical Condition March 14

A Statement from ACEP President William Jaquis, MD, FACEP:

https://www.acep.org/corona/covid-19-articles/a-statement-from-acep-president-william-jaquis-md-facep/

Statement reports that EvergreenHealth doctor was wearing PPE (N 95 respirator). Hasn't determined if it was occupational or community exposure.

Health care workers getting sicker from coronavirus than other patients, expert says

CNN -  March 16

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/16/health/doctors-coronavirus-health-care-hit-harder/index.html

It remains unclear why the novel coronavirus seems to hit health care workers harder than it does other sufferers, an expert said Monday.

"We know the high mortality in older people, but for reasons that we don't understand front-line health care workers are at great risk for serious illness despite their younger age," said Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Healthcare Facilities – Response, Infections, Staffing

Stat News March 14 : Hospital workers across the U.S. present sharply different pictures of their preparedness for the coronavirus

https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/14/coronavirus-hospital-workers-present-sharply-different-pictures-of-preparedness/

Stat news has been soliciting/collecting reports from healthcare workers on preparedness of their facilities.

Hospital Capacity, Equipment Shortages

NY Scrambles to Find Hospital Beds to Avoid COVID-19 ‘Tragedy’

NY Governor warns that the state healthcare system is about to be overwhelmed

Published March 16, 2020 – NBC New York

https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/coronavirus/ny-scrambles-to-find-hospital-beds-to-avoid-covid-19-tragedy-elective-surgeries-may-be-canceled/2329348/

Shortages of face masks, other gear for medical workers during outbreak a problem statewide

BY DEBBIE COCKRELL

March 14

https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/article241195206.html

Washington state Department of Health late Friday put actual numbers on the crisis state health care workers are facing when it comes to the supply of personal protective equipment.

Feds must increase production of personal protective equipment and COVID-19 test kits

The Hill March 14

https://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/487554-feds-must-increase-production-of-personal-protective-equipment-and-covid

 

 

Guidance

March 15

Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities. Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. These events can be planned not only by organizations and communities but also by individuals.

Therefore, CDC, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.

Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing. When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual.
This recommendation does not apply to the day to day operation of organizations such as schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses.

This recommendation is made in an attempt to reduce introduction of the virus into new communities and to slow the spread of infection in communities already affected by the virus. This recommendation is not intended to supersede the advice of local public health officials.

Source: CDC - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/large-events/mass-gatherings-ready-for-covid-19.html

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